Instructure Launches Canvas Certified Educator Program
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Instructure is getting into the certified educator business. This week, during its virtual customer conference, CanvasCon Online, the learning management system company announced the Canvas Certified Educator program. To achieve the credential, candidates will take a series of courses intended to boost their understanding and use of Canvas as well as non-product-specific best practices for online and blended learning.
During the event, the company also announced its Canvas Educator of the Year awards.
The certification initiative will have separate tracks for K-12 and higher education. Participants will be able to take customized asynchronous classes online for each, with the expectation that the courses will be finished within a given timeframe.
The program will generate digital badges for participants through microcredential provider Badgr as they finish each course. When they've done the pathway (four core courses and two electives, taught within Canvas itself), they'll earn a digital pathway badge.
Each course is expected to take about four weeks to finish. They include:
- Core 1: Foundational frameworks, which explores the impact of technology on student learning and the classroom and how Canvas can be used to help educators boost student achievement, motivation and engagement;
- Core 2: Engagement strategies, to examine how Canvas can help enrich teaching practices and maximize student achievement;
- Core 3: Personalized learning, to dive into personalized learning and learn how to create opportunities for student voice and choice within the learning environment;
- Core 4: Transformational practices, to help participants learn how to evaluate open standard digital learning tools that can enhance learning through Canvas; and
- Electives, described as a series of optional courses that can be selected by educators based on interests and needs.
Instructure is working with education nonprofit Digital Promise to align the courses in its program to Digital Promise credentials. Digital Promise will provide personnel to review candidates' evidence of learning.
"Canvas Certified Educator is a direct response to requests from our customers the past few years," said Melissa Loble, chief customer experience officer, in a press release. "They want to have deeper knowledge of the platform and to have credentials and badges that certify their expertise with Canvas to facilitate professional development and career progression."
"Canvas Certified Educator has added breadth and depth to my knowledge of Canvas," said beta user Steve Harnett, director of Digital Teaching & Learning at Pennsylvania-based Elizabeth Forward School District. "It is giving me practical insights that will be useful to me as I teach today, but the certification will be useful for future career opportunities, illustrating my mastery of the platform."
Canvas Certified Educator will launch its first K-12 course on Nov. 9. That's priced at $170 and runs through Jan. 1, 2021.
A livestream introduction to the program will be broadcast on YouTube on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time.
Among the educators recognized by Instructure, three serve K-12. Andrea Fitch is a second-grade teacher at Claremont Immersion Elementary School in Arlington, VA who is delivering lessons via distance learning. Colleen Haag is an eighth-grade teacher and building coach at Unami Middle School in Chalfont, PA. Tracey Jensen is a 12th-grade teacher at Churchill Fulshear High School in Texas, who spent "her own time and resources to obtain functioning calculators for her AP Calculus BC students." According to Instructure, all of Jensen's students passed the exam, even though they were taking their classes remotely.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.